This holiday season, try something a bit nontraditional, something a little sweet and savory to accompany either turkey or ham on your holiday table: cranberry chutney, a condiment that punches up a seasonal local ingredient with some South Asian flair.
Chutney is made from fruits, vegetables and/or herbs with vinegar, sugar and spices. It's used to provide balance to an array of dishes, or highlight a specific flavor profile. Broadly, the word chutney is now applied to anything preserved in sugar and vinegar, regardless of its texture, ingredients or consistency. More than a sauce, chutney is a condiment that brightens the flavor of many foods.
The chutney is great as part of the main meal on a holiday. Later, try it on your day-after Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches or as an addition to a cheese or charcuterie plate. It is also nice with latkes on Hanukkah, along with a dollop of sour cream.
This recipe comes from Christine Gerber, a fourth-generation cranberry farmer in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens on the Quoexin Cranberry Farm, a “dry harvest” location that does not flood fields to create a cranberry bog. You can double or triple it to make extra to give as gifts.
Christine Gerber’s Cranberry Chutney
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chopped onion, such as sweet onion
¼ cup golden raisins
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. sherry, such as Amontillado
Place cranberries in a sauce pan with enough water to cover ¾ of the berries. Cook until berries start to pop. Stir in white sugar, brown sugar and onion. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.
Add remaining ingredients. Cook for another 20-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired thickness.
As the chutney cooks, it should get thicker and thicker on the spoon and drop off like jelly. Add additional sugar if too watery. Place in a container to cool before refrigeration. Kept refrigerated, chutney will be good for about six months.
This recipe appears in “Favorite Cranberry Recipes from New Jersey Growers,” a publication of the American Cranberry Growers Association.